New Zealand-based lingerie brand Lonely has always been an advocate for realistic bodies, opting to continuously feature an inclusive range of subjects and never retouching its photos. This is something that holds especially true for its Lonely Girls Project, a journal series dedicated to sharing the stories of inspiring women while capturing them in their natural environment.
For Breast Cancer Awareness month, the brand teamed up with Sweet Louise, a New Zealand-based organization that provides support and resources to women living with secondary, incurable breast cancer, for its latest campaign, choosing three of organization’s members to highlight and celebrate.
Marian, Maggie, and Jo are captured poolside in some of the brand’s most popular lingerie styles. As always, the photos are raw, unretouched, and empowering.
On set, the women shared their thoughts on what it’s like living with an incurable disease. “I tended to take things and people for granted and felt bulletproof,” says Marian. “Now, I see breast cancer as a gift. The reason I feel it’s a gift is, unlike sudden death, you have time to right wrongs and put things in order. I’m also grateful it’s me and not my daughters.”
They also spoke about the opportunity to model lingerie, something not normally given to women of an older age set. “I thought I would be self-conscious and embarrassed [on the day of the shoot], but not at all,” says Maggie. “I loved that day, and I loved the lingerie—the sets make me feel special when I wear them. It’s fantastic to have such beautiful pieces that actually fit a larger frame, and an older one.”
In addition to telling these women’s stories through the portraits, Lonely also teamed up with local artist, Ophelia Mikkelson, to create a Breast Cancer Awareness tee, which will be available for pre-order all month long. The brand will be donating 100 percent of the shirt's $80 price tag to the Breast Cancer Foundation in New Zealand.
Below, check out more from the powerful campaign.